No big deal. Lots of people do.
For me, it was one of those defining moments where we decide how to look at life. Do we hide from pain or do we face it? Do we accept the present moment, or avoid it and distract ourselves from it? I decided, then, that I wanted to learn from the hard things in life. I realized that I would rather feel pain, than feel nothing. I would rather be weathered and shaped by life than closed off and unaffected.
Sometimes I still forget. I want a break. I want a do-over. I want to distract myself when something hurts. I want to think about the good moments instead.
But if I do that, I’m missing out. We can’t ever get to that right time where we have perfect balance and every thing is smooth sailing. We only have now, whatever it happens to be.
And that, in itself, makes all the difference.
Right now, we have the opportunity, the perfect space to be completely present. We have it over and over, and so often—we miss it.
Right now, my hair is wet from the shower. My feet are freezing. I’m hungry but I’ve waited so long post-workout to eat that I can’t figure out what I want and it’s making me grumpy.
A few minutes ago, I caught myself mumbling as I dressed, rolling over a past unhappy moment over and over in my mind. Then, I heard my children playing in the other room, laughing hysterically at something.
I looked out my window and saw a family of deer in my woods. I stood still and noticed my wet skin, goosebumpy and shivering. I listened to my children laughing. I realized the pain that I was causing myself in that moment wasn’t even real. This isn’t to say that we don’t have painful moments, but often “the most difficult times are the ones we give ourselves.”
When we look at and cling to the past, it’s mostly our perspective, our imagination, that we let affect us—with pleasure or pain. When we long for the future, for some other thing than right now, we are doing the same thing. Whether these projections make us feel good or bad, we’re missing out.
Pema Chödrön Book Club returns this Tuesday with discussion of chapters 6, 7, & 8 of Start Where You Are.
hot on elephant
Learn to Rock your Social Media & Write Mindfully with Waylon Lewis & Elephant’s Editors. 1 share A letter to the Anger that refuses to Leave Me. 0 shares If you Love her, Don’t Destroy Her. 29,525 shares 2017 is The Year of Kali, Goddess of Endings & Beginnings. 36,632 shares The Best Marriage Advice from a Divorced Woman. 2,117 shares The True Meaning of Friday the 13th (isn’t what we think). 5,275 shares The Technique that helps me make Decisions under Pressure (& has Saved my Life More than Once). 540 shares Use This Buddhist Practice to Overcome Self-Doubt. 456 shares I’m Done being your Dirty Little Secret. 0 shares 3 Seconds: “Joe Biden’s reaction to President Obama awarding him the Presidential Medal of Freedom (with distinction).” 1,164 share